Saturday, October 24, 2009

Ghosties and Ghoulies That Extort in the Night

Halloween. What a hoot.

Yes <> I know, I’s a day allegedly drenched in satanic roots and all manner of horrifying images meant to instill terror in mortals: ghosts, goblins, witches, the Olsen twins, Rosie O’Donnell in a thong, blah, blah, blah.

Rather than surrender to the Dark Lord (which could be Dick Cheney, but I’m not sure), the politically correct observe the holiday via nonsensical “Fall Parades”, “Autumn Parties”, or “Insert-Festive-Name-Here” celebrations.

Hand-wringing ninnies also prefer that children not dress up as traditionally spooky characters; instead, they dress their tykes as non-threatening characters such as “Insurance Salesman”, “Foot Doctor”, or “Blue Man Group.”

Oh, c’mon! I took my kids to a Halloween celebration last night and not once did I detect the icy grip of Lucifer on pillowcases chock full of Snickers and Jolly Ranchers. After all, I find it very hard to believe that the Devil resides in clowns, ballerinas, or SpongeBob Squarepants.

The extortion element of Trick-Or-Treating aside, it’s just a fun day for kids to dress up and go happily pandering door to door. I’m not going to begrudge them a chance to have fun just because some simpering idiots think the day glorifies evil.

Halloween was a big deal to us when we were kids. I remember planning what we were going to wear and where we’d visit soon after school started in the Fall. I even remember the costumes I wore: Superman, Green Hornet, Spiderman (yes, even then), Hulk, Frankenstein, Mummy, “Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton”, Underdog, “Criminally Insane Druggist,” and (the one that really never caught on) “Dr. Scholl’s Foot Pad Monster.”

Unlike nowadays, we were never bird-dogged by our parents as we ran like scatterbrains through our neighborhoods, feasting on truly insane amounts of chocolate.

****We now pause for a depressing commentary on life today: Sadly, all the nuts in the world now compel us to accompany our children on their nocturnal rounds. Too bad. I enjoyed freedom from parental control-and their hands in my goodies bag-in the “Brady Bunch” era.****

We knew the unwritten Halloween codes: only go to houses with their lights on, be on the lookout for razor blades in the Milky Ways, don’t bother going to the convent (they only passed out mothball-flavored Butter Rum LifeSavers), and take only one piece of candy from the bowl of those too lazy to hand them out themselves (yeah, RIGHT, always followed THAT rule!).

Oh, and fling eggs at the houses of those who dared hand out: apples, popcorn balls, pennies, ketchup packets, and packets of Equal.

My friends and I couldn’t get enough of what we saw as a great deal. So, from six o’clock (or dark-it HAD to be dark) until ten, we went knocking on doors in the hope we’d score enough sugar that our arms would go numb from lugging around our sacks (Of CANDY! Keep it clean, people!).

A bonus was that, since we went to Catholic School, we could sleep in the next day, All Saints Day. To those “in the club” (so to speak), that meant November 1st was a “Holy Day of Obligation” and so, was a day off from school (a point rendered moot if it fell on the weekend. In that case, we groused that we were ripped off by Jesus.).

This meant we could shove candy down our throats when we got home until we passed out, wake up, eat some Sugar Smacks, inhale more Three Musketeers, watch cartoons, and make fun of the public school kids as they trudged off to class.

****We Now Pause For a Psychological Childhood Scar: This was the best part of having the day off because, the rest of the year, the public school kids were beating us up. Even the girls.****

My point is, what’s so wrong with a holiday that gives children a chance to play dress up, carve pumpkins, and gorge themselves on goodies doomed to eventually become petrified lumps of sugar on top of the refrigerator until replaced by chocolate footballs at Christmas (which, incidentally, magically become chocolate “Easter Eggs” in three months)?


You know why?

Because, Satan doesn’t like Peanut M&Ms.